For many people on low incomes, paying for essential goods and services is a struggle, and the effects of going without can be huge. Without a fridge you can’t store fresh food, without a computer kids can be left behind at school, and if you can’t afford the pre-apprenticeship course, education can stall before it even begins.
The No Interest Loan Scheme offers people on low incomes safe, fair and affordable loans for fridges, washing machines and furniture, as well as education and medical expenses. Loans of between $300 and $1,200.
NILS also provides a safe and affordable alternative to the high cost finance options such as payday loans or ‘rent to buy’, products which promise ‘fast cash’ but often compound a person’s financial situation.
To be eligible for NILS you must have a healthcare or pension card, earn under $45,000, have lived in your current residence for three months, and have a willingness and capacity to repay the loan. There are no credit checks.
NILS is a leading example of Circular Community Credit. When a borrower makes a repayment, those funds then become available to someone else in the community. Clients recognise that repaying their loan means someone else is given the same opportunity they were – consequently, the repayment rate is constantly 95 to 97 per cent.
The St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria operates several No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) in Hobsons Bay, Geelong and Ballarat. The NILs makes small loans to low income earners, offering low repayments for the purchase of essential electrical white goods, such as refrigerators, washing machines, or televisions. The program is designed to help those who would have difficulty in obtaining finances for these critical items via traditional means.
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